Floating Ocean Trash Remover to Undergo Renovations

December 10, 2018

Three months after it was towed to the middle of the Pacific Ocean, a 2,000-foot floating apparatus designed to remove plastic garbage is not operating as well as planned, Forbes reports.

The trash-collecting system consists of 4-foot booms that form a giant horseshoe shape at the surface of the water. A 9-foot skirt below the horseshoe corrals the plastic trash floating in the water, using the motion of the ocean currents and waves. The system was created to help clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which is estimated to contain 142 thousand tons of plastic garbage spread across 1 million square miles.

The device is the first of a planned fleet of 60 floating trash collectors designed to strain millions of pounds of plastic trash out of the ocean, which will then be loaded onto a ship for transport to recycling centers on land. So far, the apparatus has not collected a significant amount of plastic from the ocean. Its creators believe plastic entering the system is not being retained for a long enough time for it to be harvested. They plan to increase the width of the horseshoe-shaped floater, which add force and speed to the system, enabling it to retain more plastic.

Reducing plastic pollution is the focus of the Earth Day Network’s 2018 goal. Companies committed to sustainability and environmental causes can make a difference by taking steps to make their recycling programs more effective.

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